The Hoos had a bye week to recoup and prepare for strong finish to the season, and so did the betting preview. And for me it came at just the right time. With a 2-6 week right before the break, something has to change. Or maybe not. Perhaps you’ve been fading these picks all year long. If so, keep doing what you’re doing. If not, I’m sorry and now would be a good time to just do the opposite of what you’re about to read.
Pittsburgh Panthers @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake Forest -1; Over/Under 45.5
This isn’t the Pitt pass rush of old, but it won’t have to be facing a Wake Forest line that can’t stop any penetration. I’m really surprised the Phil Jurcovec experiment didn’t work at Pitt, but maybe Christian Veilleux is exactly the spark the Panthers need to salvage at least something this season. In a matchup of arguably the conference’s most disappointing teams, I like getting the point.
Pick: Pitt +1
I’m still waiting for North Carolina to North Carolina. Every year they’re good for a let down spot, but color me impressed as it hasn’t happened. Perhaps it’s time for a miracle and maybe this is wishing a letdown into existent, but I’m finally buying in to the Tar Heels being able to put a whole game together. It’s a lot of points and I expect Virginia to compete, but as long as UNC does what they’ve done all year long, they shouldn’t have any problem with the Cavaliers.
Pick: North Carolina -24
This one all comes down to Riley Leonard. However, even if he plays, will he be as effective with his legs as he needs to be to spring the upset. If he can’t go, Duke will have a hard time, but that being said, the Duke defense is really good. The spread may get too high for my liking, but the under is totally in play. I don’t expect Duke to score much without Leonard, but the Blue Devils defense will keep it from getting out of control.
Pick: Under 49.5
Back in the summer, we had this game circled as a potential ACC Championship preview, but both teams have lost key games leading up to this point. What I’ve noticed about both is their inability to finish drives. Both move the ball, but the points just aren’t there. The defenses are excellent. Cade Klubnik has been fine and Tyler Van Dyke comes in banged up (if he plays) so I don’t expect a shootout. As long as turnovers don’t create points, this one should stay under as well.
Pick: Under 48.5